In 2005, Albany County was ranked 61 out of 62 counties for the ease of pleading down a DWI charge. This abysmal ranking was not good enough, and over the past 6 years the Office has improved our standings to:

55 in 2006

47 in 2007

29 in 2008

24 in 2009

17 in 2010

21 in 2011

16 in 2012

11 in 2013


Here's how we did it...

Since 2005, we have:

  • Created DWI Policy as to not allow plea bargains for anyone over .15 – tougher than the State law at .18
  • Updated the DWI Policy to not allow plea bargains for individuals who do not submit to a breathalyzer or blood test.
  • Been sending more people to State Prison for felony DWI.

Created a Compliance Task Force to:

  • Conduct Compliance checks at several local bars and shut down bars that do not comply
  • Coordinate raids, some uncovering more than 250 underage drinkers found on one night
  • Set up vehicle check points on local roads, where dozens of drunk drivers are found in very short periods of time
  • Develop educational programs for restaurant and tavern owners, with over 130 responsible owners attending first program at SUNY and more than 150 in attendance at our second training at the Palace Theater
  • Provided scholarships to train more Drug Recognition Experts as the use of prescription drugs has increased dramatically
  • Had our DWI Prosecutor trained in accident reconstruction to assist in trials
  • Worked with REMO – the Regional Emergency Medical Organization – to expand blood drawing capabilities to include advanced EMT's

    In 2008 we devoted even more resources to these crimes by creating the DWI and Vehicular Crimes Bureau, appointing Mary Tanner-Richter as the Bureau Chief and devoting additional prosecutors to the Unit.

    We still have a long way to go until we reach number 1, and we plan to continue strengthening our law enforcement partnerships and toughening our approach to combating DWI and drugged driving in Albany County until we reach that goal. DWI’s are among some of the most horrific, yet most preventable crimes that occur.  The Office of the District Attorney will continue to adjust our policy and work with our partners in law enforcement to bring the best practices to Albany County to make our streets the safest streets in New York State.